In common with the rest of the economy, and the construction industry in particular, there was a definite easing of pace over the year. The work came in waves, with some very busy times followed by some times when we were able to spend time improving and updating our software library and procedures. Overall, this year has been one of containment, during which we have fortunately been able to maintain our stable team of engineers and technicians, and improve the systems we have in place and which we continue to refine.

Projects

This year has still seen a wide range of projects being worked on, from domestic alterations and additions, through to large commercial buildings.

The new industrial subdivision at Tauriko has continued to be the site of a number of new developments we have worked on including a new warehouse for Morgan Furniture by Big Shed Construction (BOP) Ltd, which won the Commercial division of the Master Builders House of the Year Awards in the Bay of Plenty.

We have worked on some further new PlaceMakers outlets which are expected to proceed in the New Year.

We have provided the structural and fire engineering design on a new office block in the Invercargill CBD for the WHK Group. This building will be the second new office block we have worked on, which will house WHK accountancy practice offices, the other being a three level new office block in Wanaka finished last year.

We have also worked on further developments in and around Tauranga City Airport, from small hangar developments, to large warehouse developments on the airport leased commercial land.

Our specialty in Kiwifruit post harvest facilities continues to provide design work with 19 new coolstore rooms being added to sites in the Bay of Plenty for this season, as well as a new packhouse and other packhouse and canopy extensions.

We continue to provide a technical design and support service for Polyphen, the fire resistant coolroom insulation panel which is now having an impact in the market place, providing a viable locally produced solution for the insurance industry’s concern over the flammability of polystyrene panel.

Our specialist design expertise in light steel framing for buildings, ranging from residential housing up to large portal framed sheds, has again resulted in an increasing stream of projects from throughout the country. From our involvement with NASH (National Association of Steel-Framed Housing) it is apparent that the use of light steel framing is being adopted by more in the housing market and this form of construction is really starting to come of age. You may well have noticed some examples of these new steel framed houses going up in your area.

We have also contributed to a couple of industry initiatives – firstly on the IPENZ Working Party that produced the IPENZ Practice Note on “Coldstore Engineering in New Zealand”.

And secondly, we were part of the NASH Working Group involved in the shaking table tests on a light steel framed building with a brick veneer cladding carried out at the University of Melbourne. These tests were an outstanding success with the test building surviving the full capacity of the Shaking table rig – equivalent to an earthquake of more than magnitude 9 on the Richter scale.

Environmental Matters

Environmental considerations for the construction industry and the country continued to receive a lot of attention this year.

As Members of IPENZ we are committed to recognising and respecting the need for sustainable management of the planet’s resources and endeavouring to minimise adverse environmental impacts of our engineering activities for both present and future generations.

To enhance this commitment, Redco has completed the EnviroSmart programme run by Landcare Research and sponsored by the Ministry for the Environment and the Tauranga City Council. This two year programme focused on improving the environmental performance and resource use efficiency of businesses, and benchmarks them on the Enviro-Mark NZ scale leading to ISO 14001 registration. Having acheived Gold level with this programme, we have now progressed to the Enviro-Mark programme and are working on our Diamond and Platinum levels.

We are now members of the Sustainable Business Network and have also been on the Green Star NZ training programme run by the NZ Green Building Council leading to achieving Green Star Accredited Professional status.

Looking Forward

In these depressed economic times it is difficult to forecast what 2010 will bring – but it can certainly not be as depressed as 2009. However, having weathered the storm through this year, and with the first signs of an improvement coming through in the housing market, we trust this will also flow through into the commercial and industrial construction scenes and we have every confidence in being able to build on our base through the coming year.